Madd Jazz Jazz Ensemble · MWHS Choirs Hand Out Year-End Awards

By Lorrie Ham

The Concert Choir and Madd Jazz concert on May 22 marked one of the last performances for 12 senior members of the Mound Westonka High School music program. Entitled “Home,” this unique concert shared what home meant to the students through art, poetry and spoken word intertwined with the selected music.

Director Chris Paulson highlighted the groups’ many accomplishments, including awards for group, solo and ensemble contests; musical theater productions; and participation in honor choirs and festivals throughout the year.

Paulson thanked the 12 seniors for their contributions to the choir program. Graduating seniors include Johanna Baden, AJ Bomar, Abbie Dierbeck, Charley Hagen, Grace Hofstad, Linnea Hunter, Nathan Leif, Henri Lind, Lauren Miller, Lauren Meier, Sarah Neve and Max Taggart. “We wish you the best of luck in your future,” said Paulson. “You will be missed.”

During the concert, Paulson presented senior leadership awards to Bomar and Dierbeck. The awards are given to graduating seniors who have contributed greatly to the choral music program at MWHS. These students have exhibited excellent musical leadership and have set a positive tone in rehearsals. Through their attendance in class and at concerts and activities, they have shown true commitment to the choral program, said Paulson.

Nathan Leif received the Kris Miller Outstanding Musician Award, given each year to the outstanding graduating musician who has received top honors in music and exhibited unquestionably good character and musical leadership. Kris Miller was a MWHS student who was tragically killed in an automobile accident a few weeks before graduation. Her family and friends set up this memorial award because of Kris’s interest in and love of music. In recognition for outstanding achievement and interest in choral music, for singular merit in loyalty and cooperation, and for displaying those high standards of attitude, service, character and musicianship, which the MWHS choral music program strives to impart, this ongoing service award is given to the senior choral student who best exemplifies these qualities.

“Nathan has immersed himself in this art form by being pretty much involved with anything that will make him a better musician. He has a passion for honing his craft and understands that he has a duty to share his talents – because they are a gift,” said Paulson. “I am confident this young man will have success in his life because he has a heart for service and a passion for life.”

[View more photos of Madd Jazz and Concert Choir]